Added to the current Facebook controversy, we have GDPR happening in May so there`s really quite a lot for marketeers to be thinking about at the moment. But will this issue of data protection blow over quickly or will it mean a change in attitude for many?  

User confidence

I think the real problem is that many people will feel that there is a `loss of trust` here, possibly born out of their naivety that social media really can be provided for free, but reality is catching up for all parties involved.

My view is that social media will continue to play a big role in people`s lives but monetising it though advertising will be checked as regulators and users ask some big questions about accountability and mis-use of personal data.

Re-registration for GDPR

The second element is, of course, how GDPR will play out for marketing and whether `legitimate interest` will be accepted by most or whether a `re-registration` process will make many consumers think twice about how much personal data they are prepared for companies to collect?

It`s also worth remembering that digital advertising and re-targeting has already been shown to annoy recipients if not correctly targeted and handled, so re-registration may add to the slowing of digital marketing`s progress.

Media planning and choices

Does any of this mean anything for the choice and buying of advertising media?

I have always seen the huge advantages of using the right mix of in-bound and out-bound media for product and services marketing and this is not going to change. It could, however, make marketeers question an over-dependence on social and digital and get many more to recognise that some traditional media add greatly to the marketing mix, e.g. exhibitions and outdoor, that can do things in personal interaction or building market presence, that digital doesn`t do very well.

Broad media perspective and the best media choices could be headed back in the right direction, thanks to this controversary.


Dudley Masters, Account Director, Acumen Marketing Communications